Monday, May 28, 2007

My baby's a college grad

I have been doing a lot of knitting and crocheting, but THIS is what I've been most excited about. My baby graduated yesterday from the University of San Diego with a BA in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. Anyone out there have a job for her? :-)
More on the needlework soon.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Baby boy stuff

While 'waiting' for the info on the top down raglan, I had too much fun making some boy things for baby Jaedon. I put this in the mail to Columbus on Saturday. The vest is a Dale of Norway pattern made from Lion Brand Baby Soft. The socks from Panda Cotton. I made one sock of from the Baby Soft, but it just couldn't compete with the yummy texture of the Panda Cotton, so I didn't finish them.

The last 2 projects OTN are not really portable, so I started a simple airy scarf from Kid Merino to take to the Padres game on Thursday. Then, not having any socks in progress felt weird, so I cast on for a basic rib pair from some Opal hand-dyed yarn in maroons and dark green. I'd tried something fancy with it last year, but it didn't work out for a variety of reasons, so I ripped it out completely and rewound the yarn. I only have 4 rows done of the first sock, but it's one I can easily work on when out and about. There's no rush. Sock weather is pretty much over in San Diego.
I couldn't help myself, so I cast on for yet another pair. The Anna yarn in my stash has been pleading for my attention. It's in muted gray greens. I had heard online it worked up to a much finer gauge than usual, so I started out with 72 stitches and size 0 needles, instead of my usual 64 stitches and size 1, 1.5, or 2s. I've done about an inch of ribbing and am thinking of looking in my Sensational Knitted Sock books for inspiration for a pattern...

Oh, and I got my yarn order from Astrid in the Netherlands. It took 3 weeks instead of the usual 10 days and I was getting antsy. It's not as if I need any more sock yarn. One of the pinks are for a pair of Pink Ribbons socks for the Susan G Komen breast cancer fundraiser in the fall. The red are for the Christmas season. The dark pink was an experiment.. It's Opal Cotton and is darker than I thought it would be, but it's all good.

Sputtered progress

The raglan is back on track after some frogging. I didn't like the sleeve as first done and needed to wait to see Athena at my workshop. Of course, if I had read the directions completely OR looked at the many photos I had taken of the sample...... Even so, the original sleeve was too long for me. Ripping back let me work the decreases more quickly.

Then, someone else in class had completed her raglan and I really liked the neck ribbing she used. It was the Double Island Rib from the 365 Knitting Stitches perpetual calendar. It's on June 14th. I used it instead of the garter finish suggested. The lace is different, but I think it works.

So now I'm on the home stretch. 4 more inches of stockinette, then the lace bottom.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The last 2 WIPs

This is what I have left to finish. Just 2 sweaters. I'm not counting the fun baby stuff 'cause I'll be done with that soon enough. These are my winter workshop projects. I decided not to do the Spring shawl, so I could catch up and work on my summer projects guilt free.
The green one is a top down raglan. There really wasn't a pattern for this one as we did a gauge swatch with our preferred yarn and formulas from Barbara Walker's Knitting From The Top. I'm using Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool. One of the sleeves is done. The lace motif will be repeated at the hem. The V neck will have a simple rib finish.
This second one is the Peerie Cardigan, a pattern written by my soon to depart workshop instructor. It was published in the Fall 1999 issue of Knitter's.
There's a whole lot of knitting in this project. I fell in love with it when I tried on the sample Charlie brought into class. I'm using Knitpicks Telemark sport weight yarn at 6 stitches to the inch. Each motif is only 4 to 8 stitches wide and 5 rows tall with some background rows thrown in, so it's not really complicated, but is very interesting. I may have to finish this in the fall with Athena, who will now become the lead instructor. It may get too hot to have this huge thing in my lap during the summer. It's worked in one piece to the armholes and the sleeves picked up at the shoulder. Maybe THIS in a shorter version could work with my Cotton Ease. The instructions work for any yarn, any gauge.

It's a Boy!

My daughter's in-laws in Ohio had their baby on the 24th of April. I made a well appreciated layette in neutral cream since they didn't want to know the baby's sex beforehand. Jaydon was a healthy 7 lbs. and I'm furiously knitting on some boyish items.
I bought a white shirt to go with the manly little vest. I'm making it in the smallest size, so it fits neatly on my 16" circulars. I hope to be done in the next few days so they can have it before he outgrows it all. I already told my own kids that if they ever have any babies, I will go absolutely crazy because baby items are so darned cute.

The true meaning of BFF

Best Friends Forever. That's what kids say, but THIS is the true meaning of the phrase. That's me standing next to Dona. We started Kindergarten together and were in the same grade until we graduated from high school in 1970. In 1979, she was my Maid of Honor and later visited us when we were living in Spain. We don't get to see each other often as we live on different coasts, but the connection is still there. She and her daughter [middle] were in Los Angeles visiting her sister [left] and were gracious enough to drive down to San Diego to spend the day with Bob and me. It's hard to imagine we've been pals for 50 years.

This is the earliest photo I have of us. Money was tight and photos a rarity back in the day. Dona is in striped dress right behind the class sign while I'm in the lovely plaid vest in the row behind her.

Mother's Day gift off and gone

By request, my mom asked for another Sitcom Chic sweater. This is my absolute favorite sweater for comfort and wearability. I have 4 and Mom now has 2. Yep, I've made the danged thing SIX times - all from various shades of Cotton Ease bought in a frenzy when I learned it was being discontinued. It's been reissued, but at a higher price and in a totally different and muted palette. Nowadays if I want a cotton/acrylic blend in worsted weight, I go with TLC Cotton Plus. She received it in Thursday's mail and was quite pleased with it. Her other one is in black. Both are sized up to 2X.

I am constantly searching for another basic sweater for my Cotton Ease. I still have 4 colors I want to make cardigans from. I think I found it in the current issue of Knitty. I've got some CE in bright white I'll experiment with. I think I'll modify the collar from a V neck to crew so when I wear it open - as in most of the time - it will hang better. Of course I'll make them 3/4 sleeves. This pattern seems perfect, as it comes in a wide size range, from XSmall to 3X and it's knit up in my preferred way, once piece to the armholes with the sleeves knitted from the shoulder. Look, ma, no seams to sew! I will not start this [I must repeat this mantra often] until I'm done with my [just] 2 works in progress.

Aran Sandal Socks done

The Aran Sandal Socks are done. I gave them to Charlie, my Knitting Workshop instructor last Friday. She was surprised and amazingly appreciative. I guess knitters don't get many knitted gifts. This was from some of her stash yarn she was giving away to make way for her move East. She was so sweet, saying she would wear them on Christmas and think of me. Next I need to make my matching pair and remember to wear them on Christmas too.